Source Information Bremen, German Desertions of Sailors, 1855-1874 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008.
Original data: Staatsarchiv Bremen. 4,24, Seemansamt Bremen. C.9 Deserteurlisten (FS 5342-5343).

About Bremen, German Desertions of Sailors, 1855-1874

This database contains records of sailors who deserted ships sailing from Bremen Germany between 1855 and 1874. Information contained in this database about the sailors includes:

  • Name

  • Birth year

  • Residence

  • Date deserted

  • Port where deserted

Additional information such as the individual’s position on board the ship, the name of the ship, and the name of the ship’s captain may also be available on the image.

Sailors deserted for many reasons, including to immigrate, to escape the law or debts, or to escape an undesirable situation aboard the ship (eg. a difficult captain, poor conditions, low wages). If caught, deserters could face stiff punishments. In many cases, they disappeared and were not heard from again. The Bremen Staatsarchiv, where these records come from, may have additional documentation on these sailors, such as case files regarding their service record and desertion, which may be researched by correspondence or by visiting the archive.

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